Friday, September 03, 2010
Recently, I watched a documentary on the Van Cliburn competition for young pianists. Van Cliburn is the American who entered a similar contest in Russia during the Cold War and, much to the surprise of the world, won first prize. He subsequently established the Van Cliburn competition and awards, held every four years in Texas (his home state.)
The winner gets $25,000 plus guaranteed appearances with major orchestras through the next year, plus a CD recording of his/her own. In other words, this young musician's career is launched (or reaffirmed) at a high level.
If anyone has doubts about the younger generation, this film will serve to dispel many of them All the contestants were highly gifted, and obviously had dedicated many years of their lives to developing their artistic skill. But the contestant who won the hearts of the audience and the judges was Nobuyuki Tsujii, a twenty-one year old pianist from Japan, who has been blind from birth. He played extremely demanding and complex pieces with great skill. How he was able to produce the right finger combinations for these fast paced compositions is a mystery. But beyond his technical abilities, he displayed a rare capacity to “fuse with the music,” as if he and it were one. Clearly, music is his entire life, and he has already performed with major orchestras, in Japan and across the globe.
Of course, he first has to learn each piece by ear. Then, somehow, his hands find the right keys on the keyboard, to execute these amazing works. How does he do it? It is as if he possesses some rare capacity to “intuit” where his fingers must go. He seems to act as a conduit for otherworldly forces--as if he and the music were one, as if the vibrations flowed through his body in ecstasy, he being the divine instrument of reception. He also possesses extremely acute hearing--when he needed to rejoin the orchestra after a pause, he was able to “hear the breathing” of the conductor and thus know when to recommence.
Van Cliburn proclaimed that he was in fact a gift from God. One of the judges said he just quit taking notes, because he did not want his experience to be interrupted.
I think his talents are related to Kundalini--energies flowing from within, up through his body, and onto the piano. It is indeed a magical performance.
Then, today, a friend (herself an acupuncturist) told me about an acupuncture technique called Toyohari, which is a form of traditional East Asian medicine.
Many practitioners of this style in Japan are blind and have developed extraordinary sensitivity to Qi through this practice.
(above information found at http://toyhohari.org)
“Currently, more than thirty per cent of acupuncturists practicing in Japan are blind. The Toyohari Meridian Therapy Association, a specialized professional association founded by blind acupuncturist Kudo Fukushima, currently has a Japanese membership of which approximately half are blind.” (Brenda Loew) My friend explained that these appear to have developed special skills, including the ability to feel the chi, even when the technique is being applied to a patient across the room from where they are. They can even tell which meridians are being stimulated from this distance.
I wonder if acupuncture itself was not developed by those who were acutey sensitive to the chi--where it is flowing, where not--and thus they discovered the meridians and the special points. By the same token, I wonder if the movements which came to be T’ai Chi and Chi Gong (as well as yoga) were not “discovered” by early practitioners, who went by the feelings the movements aroused, rather than any externally imposed (and thus artificial) guidelines.
Again, I feel such capacities (as those of the blind pianist and the blind acupuncturists) are quite remarkable. And here, also, the inner energies are involved (as chi, which is closely related to Kundalini.) Once more, we are reminded that the human ability to “go beyond the expected limits” is unending, whether we are developing our ability to experience Kundalini at highly refined levels, or using our talents in other but related ways.
And this is why I feel that planet wide awakening of Kundalini energies is possible, and may occur in the not too distant future. Anything is possible, once we disregard the notion of limits.
“Feel the chi.”